Thanks Grow!---- Now, to everyone else who happens upon this post ... it's a while since George very kindly took the time to write that, so my reply is long overdue. Please read on if you'd like to know more about my marathon experience to date!First of all, I'm going to warn you just how easy it is to get tricked into doing something like this. I was innocently talking to Squiffs when he came to a social after his spectacular effort in the 2005 London Marathon, when without thinking I said "If you can do it, even I could!" Big mistake ... especially when his boss Helen, who also happens to be the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre, is standing within earshot. She ambled over and said "Great, I'll put you down for next year then shall I?"A few months passed, and I thought I might have got away with it. Then, one sunny day, I received an email from Sue, asking if I was still interested.What could I say?So I started running. Not much really, I'd get out maybe once a week, usually when I could convince an unsuspecting friend to accompany me. I thought it was just enough to convince myself I wasn't going to get too much of a shock when the real training started. Yeah, right!That was in September last year. And the next thing I knew, it was January, and my email inbox was being inundated with emails from runnersworld.com, reminding me that it was time to start the official marathon training schedule! I was really going to do this!The first few weeks were easier than I expected. A few 2 to 4 mile runs, and then out for an hour or so on the weekends ... the long runs were hard, but I was so excited when I got home and had completed them. The same unsuspecting friends continued to come out with me from time to time, which helped immensely.Then, seven weeks in and after a twelve mile run, my foot started aching. I hadn't had any pains at all up until then and was feeling quite lucky so was pretty annoyed when I woke up the next morning and had to crawl to the bathroom because I couldn't walk. A week out of training and a lot of ice and rest, I had my first race the next weekend so was just hoping my foot would be fine by then.Once I could walk, I went to the running store and sorted myself out with some new runners ... I'll add here that marathon training is not an especially cheap hobby. I thought all I'd need was runners, tights and a few t-shirts. In essence, that's right, but if you want to be comfortable and blister/chafe-free well, you need to get the right gear. Who'd've thought you could spend £10 on a pair of blister-proof socks? And running tights and t-shirts with wicking-properties? Training in winter for a Spring race? You need thermals and jackets and long tights and 3/4 tights and long sleeved and short sleeved and singlets - don't get me started on the cost of sports bras FORTY QUID! Throw in the carb-gels and sports drinks. And last of all is the cost of entering the training races. I've got a box under my bed that's chock-full of running stuff!Anyway, I digress. So I got through the week, went out on a few short runs in my new trainers and survived 3/4 of the Bristol Social in February before driving back to London late on the Saturday night and setting three different alarms so I could make it to the race at some ridiculous hour of Sunday morning. Why is it that these things always start at 8am and want you to be there an hour beforehand? Do they think that every person who runs, gets up at stupid times?After the race, I picked up training and everything was going well again on the short runs ... then nine miles into a 14 mile run the following weekend, and it happened again. I had to pull up and hobble back to where I'd left my car. Several trips to the physio both here and in Australia where I was holidaying, one telling me I'd be able to do it but had to take it slowly, the other telling me to defer until next year (don't you love second opinions?). I rested up for a full two weeks to let the strain heal completely before putting any more pressure on it. Took up some weight bearing exercises for a few days and then two weeks ago, hit the roads again, picking up where I'd left off but moving through the levels a bit faster than if I'd had the additional time to train.Recruited my two most positive running buddies to keep training with me which they did, with more enthusiasm than I would have, under the opposing circumstances! Then last weekend I completed the Kingston Breakfast Run in a fraction over 3 hours and my only injury is a very bruised toenail on my right foot (it's presently at risk but I won't give you the unpleasant details). So while I'm not going to be setting any records, I believe I'll finish in under 5.5 hours, and will be grinning through my pain for the next few weeks after that! Now, here's the bit where you can come in :-) (you knew it was coming ... didn't you?) Yes, you can do something and feel good about it without breaking a sweat! As I said at the beginning of this rambling post I've embarked upon this challenge to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre. Please, please, dig deep into your hearts and your pockets and click on this link to sponsor my marathon efforts! I'm sharing Squiffy's justgiving site, so note in the comments if your sponsorship is for the marathon, that way the charity can keep track. http://www.justgiving.com/laughforMS I'm about to wrap my toes in cotton wool and set out for the Social now, if you see me there, please don't worry that I may appear to be limping ... it's to be expected :-)Thanks for reading this far - I feel supported already!!MsMuffett
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